|Follow us on:|
“We consider illegal the first so-called set [of sanctions], which undoubtedly causes harm to Russia-US and Russia-EU relations,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday after a summit of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in the Belarusian capital.
‘As to the second so-called set — it denies any logic, I cannot even explain its nature because there is no link between the current events in Ukraine and Russia,” Putin said.
“I think they [the new sanctions] are related to the fact that our partners have decided to choose a forcible scenario to resolve the Ukrainian crisis but later realized where it was leading them and started to look for a scapegoat, but I must tell you — Russia has nothing to do with it,” the President added.
Denying the presence of Russian troops or military instructors in eastern Ukraine, Putin urged all conflicting sides to come to the discussion table.
Russia has said it would respond to Western sanctions by scrutinizing foreign companies working in Russia’s key industries, including the energy sphere even as the Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov termed it “Iron Curtain” sanctions.
“The Russian government has already proposed some retaliatory measures. I think there is no need for that at the moment, but if something like that continues, then, of course, we will have to contemplate who and how works in key sectors of the Russian economy, including the energy industry,” Putin said on Tuesday.
“We are reluctant to take any retaliatory measures, I hope it won’t be needed,” he said.
“We often hear that there are our special forces units or instructors there. I am telling you with all responsibility — there are no Russian instructors or ‘commando’ units or troops there,” Putin asserted.
The US announced an expansion of its separate sanctions list on Monday, adding seven high-ranking Russian officials and 17 Russian companies.
Meanwhile, Moscow’s closest ally Beijing on Tuesday criticized the US sanctions against Russia, saying this would protract the crisis.
Putin will meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping next month in Shanghai where the two leaders are expected to hold strategic talks to boost growing ties. The two will also meet in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza in July during the 6th BRICS Summit.
TBP and Agencies